COVID-19 – Restricted service
We have been open throughout the pandemic to support those in greatest need. Our professional referrers from Social Care, NHS and local schools have been fantastic partners, working with us to triage and support families and individuals – thank you all, it has been a privilege to work alongside you as always. Financial support from Dorset Council has been invaluable.
From 6th July 2020 we are open to more referrals and we have re-organised our site in line with Govt guidance. Working in the open and in airy barns makes ours a relatively safe environment and support from our funders, especially emergency funding from The National Lottery and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, has enabled us to increase staff onsite more quickly. With our new teaching spaces: an outdoor arena, a hilltop horse obstacle course and a kitchen garden – also funded by The National Lottery – we aim to come close to our pre-COVID capacity.
A core group of our wonderful "Working Wellies" (supported volunteers) have helped to keep us going and we are now opening our doors to the whole group - though in smaller groups.
Leaders in well-evidenced high impact equine-assisted interventions. Having proven our work in prisons, we have established a busy community-based HQ in Weymouth, Dorset, UK. Employing 5 facilitators and 14 horses, we work with young people from 8yrs old, families and adults. In Dorset we help at least 500 extremely troubled people each year, we do not charge the participants. We also provide Alternative Provision for young people out of education, accredited qualifications (in partnership with Weymouth College), and supported volunteering through our Working Wellies project.
We train and assess others to replicate our programmes and we work hard to support them in setting up their own centres around the UK. Independent centres running our programmes are becoming increasingly busy and more are opening. We monitor their impact data to ensure they are as effective as we are, and provide ongoing support and training.
We hold an Animal Activity Licence from Dorset Council, No: WPRE0002. We also maintain the Social Farms & Gardens Code of Practice compliance.
Participants are 8yrs to adult, by referral only from Schools & PRUs, Social Care, NHS Mental Health Services, Troubled Families, Offender Services and other specialist agencies.
Our participants have serious problems – typically more than four from the list below. And they are referred because they are ‘stuck’ or disengaged from talk-based support. We teach, rehearse and repeat key resilience skills in an intensive and challenging, but fun, 5 day programme with feedback in-the-moment from specially trained horses and 1-to-1 facilitator support.
- anxiety diagnosis
- not attending school (training, work)
- relationship difficulties
- mood swings/impulsivity
- highly disengaged
- self harming
- bullying, aggression, anger management issues
- being bullied
- risk taking behaviour
- drug & alcohol misuse
- eating disorder
- domestic violence
- neglect / abuse
- poor parenting
- parents with mental health problems, offending or D&A
- living in care, leaving care or at risk of going into care
- from area of high deprivation
- wounded in service
Lighter Touch options
In addition to the intensive ReStart we offer Lighter Touch options such as top ups, tailored sessions and group work - different ways to help people at a lower level of need or to provide longer term support after a ReStart course.
We offer frontline professionals and the public - a 2 hour training in our specialism - reading and responding to non-verbal behaviour. A game-changer with difficult emotions or behaviours.
OutcomesWe are held up as an exemplar in our approach to evidencing the outcomes of our work (see evidence).
A report published by NPC & CLINKS and peer reviewed by CSAAP (the academic panel at the Ministry of Justice) showed a 27 % point reduction in reoffending (where 10% is large).
A study by Bournemouth University is tracking the outcomes for our young people post-course at 2 months and 12 months and results show that 80%+:
- are less anxious (with 33% average improvement)
- have reduced problem behaviours,
- improved attendance/engagement at school
- better relationships
- increased self belief
- Creative England/Wellcome Trust/NHS Create Open Health 2019
- Royal College of Psychiarty Annual General Conference (2 prizes) 2018
- FSI Small Charity BIG Impact, Regional Section Winner 2017
- Dorset County Council Innovation Award 2016
- School for Social Entrepreneurs Fellowship 2016
- BIG Lottery Peoples Project 2016
- Shortlisted for the Guardian Small Charity Awards 2015
- Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship 2013
- Shackleton Award 2011